Isaac Spencer, Jr. accomplished 30 consecutive years with no safety infractions and no preventable accidents. METRO image.
The event recognizes employees like 57-year-old Isaac Spencer, Jr., who celebrates 31 years of service this April, and whose father is a 50-year veteran of METRO. METRO's Jerome Gray says this weekend's family day includes transportation executives competing on an obstacle course.
"And in the VIP competition, what you're going to have is about ten senior managers at METRO who never drive a bus, behind the wheel, to complete certain tasks on this obstacle course. And when I tell you, as one who's been practising and one who'lll be at the competition, it is no easy task driving a bus."
The competition challenges drivers on turning, as well as guiding the bus through tight situations.
"We have to be able to guide through these barrels that are not typical life, I mean everyday situations. But in many ways they are. When you think about a bus having to pass through cars and getting through tight areas, we have to turn it and park it into a stall area that is very narrow."
...all of which gives METRO executives a taste of what drivers face every day while on the job.
"For me, this competition, once again reaffirms how important it is that our drivers are trained, and that when we get on a bus or a train to realize that a lot of training is going through to provide the type of safety that we need on the streets."
Houston bus operators collectively clock about 50 million miles on the road each year.